The New Zealand Special Service Medal (Nuclear Testing)
About the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Nuclear Testing)
The New Zealand Special Service Medal was instituted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 to recognise personnel who undertook special operations which are not normally recognised by a Campaign medal. The Royal Warrant allows for a number of variants of the award, and to date, three New Zealand Special Service Medals have been struck: the NZSSM (Nuclear Testing) (images shown above), the NZSSM (Asian Tsunami), and the NZSSM (Erebus).
The NZSSM (Nuclear Testing) recognises the service of those personnel who were part of an official New Zealand Government presence at an atmospheric nuclear test between 1956 and 1973. (Quick link to the dates and locations of the qualifying nuclear tests).
The award of the NZSSM does not qualify a recipient for the award of the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.
The NZSSM (Nuclear Testing) was issued unengraved until 30 June 2009. From 1 July 2009 this medal has been issued engraved on the bottom rim. For military personnel, the recipient's service number, rank, initials, surname, and corps / Service are engraved. These details are as at the date of the service which qualified him or her for the medal.
Note: Recipients of an unengraved NZSSM (Nuclear Testing) should contact the Medals Office if they wish their medal to be engraved. The best opportunity to have your medal engraved is when you need to add another medal (such as the New Zealand Defence Service Medal) to your mounted medal group.
The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Special Service Medal can be viewed here.
The Regulations for the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Nuclear Testing) can be viewed here.
Clasps and Bars
There are no clasps or bars for this medal.
Order of Wear
The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.
Media statement concerning the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Nuclear Testing)
18 March 2002 - Medallic Recognition for Nuclear Test Veterans
Naval Service which Qualify Persons for the NZSSM (Nuclear Testing)
- HMNZS Pukaki - 15 May 1957, 31 May 1957, or 19 June 1957
- HMNZS Rotoiti - 15 May 1957, 31 May 1957, or 19 June 1957
- HMNZS Pukaki - 8 November 1957
- HMNZS Rotoiti - 8 November 1957
- HMNZS Pukaki - 28 April 1958
- HMNZS Pukaki - 22 August 1958, 2 September 1958, 11 September 1958, or 23 September 1958
- HMNZS Otago - 22 July 1973
- HMNZS Canterbury - 28 July 1973